Sunday, January 14, 2018

connecting through our passion, tools

When young my brother and I spent a lot of our childhood in Dad's woodworking shop on Rose Street. While he was crafting crazy cool pieces from his collection of hand tools (the Roy Underhill way) we played at woodworking.  We did this by planing on scrap lumber.  The sensation of that beautifully restored hand-tool, gliding through our hand picked collection of scraps, felt akin to a knife through cheese.  This action of planing while listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival developed our love of working with our hands, me eventually falling in love with the metal arts while my younger brother Stephan a career as a chef and musician.

a toolbox in his current workshop

a large treasured toolbox from his Father

here is a new addition on the shaving horse which holds smalls, such as this piece of treenware

love this large chisel resting on the shaving horse 

LOOK at those handles and customized hatchet.  The outer tools were my focus and then he placed the spoke shave  between the two.  Perfect.
 The above photos were taken during this past Christmas holiday.  The shop is located now in the basement of his farmhouse where a root cellar, laundry area and some lighted indoor shelves (holding vegetable and decorative plants for the upcoming gardening season} all share space. 

My Dad gifted me this year the beautiful chubby hammer above on the stump bench, a gorgeous French cobbler's hammer positioned on the anvil and a little hammer were both from a few year's back.  Each of them married beautifully to lovely hewn wooden handles.  Look at the brass ferrule on my most recent present back on the stump bench.

Wedges added to hold the heads in place

Do you hear the angels singing, haha.  Sunshine streaming in the studio, on the stump, this bright freezing January afternoon. 

"Brass makes it richer",  states the 'artist' :)

My Dad, his lovely wife Jeanette and her oldest grandchild, William after a delicious meal of Clam Chowder, fresh baked rolls and baked Camembert cheese in phyllo. It was a lovely time with family.

Christmas Day 2017, my Father and I in his kitchen. 
I find myself taking photos of the metal's studio more than making jewelry at times  Creating is the important part, from maker spaces showing where it all takes place, to the tangible work hammered out.  
Where ever your studio is I am sure your heart is permanently placed,  in that glorious space, where your soul sings along with the angels.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

A Simple Pendant with the BIG made by hand Attitude

Being an artisan member of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania makes me, of course, USA made but, even tighter than that, #PAWildsmade.  Wild's creatives immerse themselves in the landscape producing such work for ie. photos captured, wood carved, metal formed or spirits distilled.  When enjoying artisan's work from this Wild's 'scene' you are part of the entire scope, the tangible and emotional experiences.   

Over the years my jewelry and mixed media techniques have continually drawn inspiration from those rural traditions that were once everyday life for our ancestors.  This way of tactile life, being a part of the process of just living, has become a need in this age of technology for me and so many others to make with our hands utilitarian wares or more refined artistic work from beginning to end.  

riveted copper bangles, antique cross peen hammer and air chased copper cuff #madebyhand Stephanie Distler Artisan Jewelry
airchasing a cuff on the anvil

There is honesty in the process, a feeling of release while striking the metal over and over and then a certain amount of authority over the finished design that is validating.

PA Wilds Made copper pendant progression in the hydraulic press. Finish work follows for the piece to get it to what is then for sale.   #PAWildsmade copper pendants available for purchase from my studio and The PA Wilds Conservation Shop at The Kinzua Bridge State Park!

SDAJ studio shot

While you are adventuring through the 12.5 county region known as The PA Wilds look for our The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania membership popping up in galleries, as shops, breweries, distilleries, wineries, restaurants and historical sites just to name a few member types. You will find artist and artisan members among trading posts, host sites art shows and studios where they capture the landscape of the WILDS through #madebyhand work. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What is on Your Jeweler's Bench Wednesday

Today on the bench or 'in the studio' ;) you will find decorating for the Holidays and also oxidizing a large fibula pin order.
Once a dust collection system is installed along with some other end of year tool purchases I can start  making once again or rather messy making once again.
We fell in love with this tree from Target  and can't wait to decorate with antique and ornaments my daughters have made through the years.  The antique Christmas balls were my Grandmother's and a great string of lights from the 50's (local shop) slipping on aluminum vintage reflectors (my Grandmother's never opened) that are pretty amazing.
More to come!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

TBT Christmas 1990

1. my brother Stephan, husband Herb, Jim hiding in the corner and Bob next. 2. deciding on their next move 3. Not sure what was developing here

Fun in our kitchen with my brother Stephan and his friends Jim and Bob.  These were taken two years before our now 24 year old daughter Thea was born and also the same year purchasing the house you see here.
There were many holidays where playing cinch after a gathering until the wee hours was a thing.  Bob and my husband Herb were the it team, always winning a bid with next to nothing.  Pink Squirrels were the retro foo foo libation this night made from creme de almond, white creme de cacao and heavy cream.  I was too cool using a Tupperware Quick Shake container to mix up our drinks with also adding vanilla ice cream.instead of cream this time.  Bob was running around in my apron :) and what looks like a fight brewing between him and Jim.  They were all good times that are surely missed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What is on your Jeweler's Bench Wednesday

Getting prepared to make more fibula pins all day tomorrow along with taking photos of a few sets for on ETSY.  I love making these special pieces from square and round wire using copper or brass.  A batch in Sterling Silver also is coming.

simply looped through a flannel pocket today while out and about

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Five Years + Revisited

Many art friends and their open houses, shows, experimenting and beads later here is a revisit between 2005 and 2010.
1. opera length commission with handmade beads/faces and semi-precious beads 2.  forged and folded copper hearts 3. hand sewn original felt butterfly pin 4. Sterling Silver hammered earrings  5.  Petrified Wood necklace house in Bradford  7.  herb tea 8.  BeadArt doll embroidered and dry felted
Focus has changed but, I feel my design push is still the same with palette and texture.  I miss working with felt and seed beads on art dolls and brooches but, the metal is part of my life.  Perhaps my obsessing about what my focus was is affecting moving forward with more intricate metal work.

What was your break through?


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